Early Learning Center
In our Early Learning programs, academic rigor means focusing on personal discovery and fostering a deep and enduring sense of curiosity and wonder about the world around us. Purposeful play builds the essential foundation for literacy and numeracy, and for becoming a respectful and responsible member of a community of learners.
In kindergarten, first, and second grade academic rigor means emphasizing the building blocks of independent learning. Students grow from emergent to fully independent readers. Our math program emphasizes the importance of conceptual understanding of math operations through experiences.
In grades three, four, and five academic rigor means digging into the skills and habits of a critical thinker and problem solver. Students are independent readers who practice expressing their thoughts in writing. Mathematical reasoning, a strong number sense and fluency in math facts form the foundation for solution strategies.
In grades six, seven, and eight academic rigor means developing the skills and habits of a collaborative learner, while maintaining a growth mindset as students face the increasingly challenging demands of content reading and abstract mathematical applications. The academic expectations for middle school students emphasize application of knowledge and skills across disciplines.
In high school classes, academic rigor means equipping students with the tools and training they need to frame their own questions, to seek their own answers, and to critically evaluate information they encounter. Students may choose to take core courses (math, English, social studies, science, and Spanish) for standard, honors, or AP credit. Graduation requirements specify that students earn credits through a variety of fine and performing arts, academic, career, and technology electives, as well as performing 100 hours of community service.
We employ experiential learning to meet high academic standards. At Gifft Hill School experiential learning means exactly what it sounds like - giving students experiences that frame learning as a way to develop new tools to solve problems or produce outcomes within a real world context. New knowledge and skills are learned through exploration and application.